Below is an ever-evolving list of the actions that I am taking/have taken. I believe that each is easy and inexpensive enough (possibly even budget neutral!). Click the buttons. Make changes. Take action now to offset and undo the damage we cause. Most of these are things that everyone can do, but I’ll also include some Ohio and Cincinnati-specific actions.
- I’ve calculated my household carbon footprint (around 50 tons/year, roughly 30% better than my local average). Calculate yours and take the recommended action steps they provide!
- I’ve offset some (not all) of that carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets from CarbonFund.Org. You can select their preset options for individuals based on common characteristics like number of people, household size, car types, etc.
- I’ve donated to The Eden Projects. This is a reforestation charity that puts local villagers to work planting trees, lifting them out of extreme poverty and restoring the surrounding ecosystem that their situations have forced them to destroy. This stabilizes the water cycle around them, replenishes the soil that their farms depend upon, and infuses destitute homes with financial resources that are otherwise unavailable. $10 will plant 25-100 trees. Click this button to contribute to my fundraising goal of $1,000! If you don’t click the button, your donation will not be counted toward my fundraising goal. I won’t hold this against you, though.
- I’ve donated to The Nature Conservancy through their Adopt an Acre initiative. The work of this organization is wide-ranging and absolutely essential. Become a member, adopt an acre, adopt a coral reef, find your local chapter and volunteer.
- I’ve donated to The Rainforest Trust. Preventing deforestation is a key to preserving habitat, biodiversity and human civilization. $10 can help this group protect an acre. Do it.
- Get Political! If Political Action Committees are the way of modern U.S. democracy, then we need to get behind not only the candidates, but also the PACs who represent our values as well. 314 Action (314 as a reference to Pi) is a PAC that supports STEM candidates for public office. Their four key issues are critical to all Americans and people around the world. Their board leadership is stacked with expertise and experience. Let’s help them to support leaders who can guide us back to reason and evidence-based policy. Read their website, donate, take action with them. They have an option to donate $3.14.
- I’ve donated to/become a member of my local sustainability alliance, Green Umbrella. This organization is doing the important work of building Cincinnati into a top 10 sustainable metro area. I strongly urge Cincinnatians to visit this group’s website and become involved!
- I will plant several trees and register them with the Taking Root campaign. This is a Cincinnati area initiative to plant 2 millions trees by 2020. Plant some trees of your own, click the button and register them!
- Great news! Ohio is a deregulated energy market state. There are several other states that are deregulated as well. If you are in one of these states, I urge you to visit your state government website to find information. Being deregulated means that you aren’t limited to your local utility as the sole provider of your electricity and gas. Your utility remains the servicer and you continue to pay your bill to them, but you can choose where the supply of electricity comes from. I was able to use the state government’s website to find a provider with a fixed rate (I recommend a fixed rate, variable rates seem to vary in only one direction…) and that has 100% renewable energy content. Not only does this eliminate a lot of my carbon footprint, it saves me about $6 per month! This doesn’t sound like much, but the point is that it’s cheaper. I’m helping to create the market for renewable energy and it’s helping my wallet. You can do this too. With the savings, I took the next action as well as some others above. Be sure to filter your search by Renewable Content. The process takes less than five minutes if you have your energy bill in hand.
- I’ve opted into Duke Energy’s “Go Green Ohio” program to pay a monthly charge above my usage bill (only an extra $2) to purchase 200kwh of REC, which are Renewable Energy Credits, to add to the grid, additionally helping to create the market for renewables. You can purchase as many kwh of RECs as you wish, but I wanted to be sure to use the savings from switching to another provider, which I described above, to fund this as well as donations to the non-profits I’ve listed above. I will ultimately come out exactly even with what I was previously paying, and I’ve substantially decreased my negative impact on the planet.